CEF Home Essential Elements Activity Guides Challenge N&K's LAB
Diamonds, composed entirely of tightly arranged carbon molecules, are the hardest natural substances on Earth
"When school starts each fall, the first question my students always ask me is, 'When is the Challenge?!'"

-Darcy Welsh
Illinois Middle-School Educator

You Be The Chemist Activity Guides           

YBTC Activity Guides Receive Teachers' Choice Award

Learning Magazine ® has selected the Fourth Edition Activity Guides to   receive a 2014 Teachers' Choice Award for the Classroom category! In its twentieth year, the Teachers' Choice Awards program is one of the most recognized and prestigious awards in the educational market. It is the only awards program that is exclusively judged by teachers in the classroom. CEF is honored to know that teachers enjoy using our materials to make science fun and engaging for their students. 

A longtime educator favorite, the You Be The Chemist ® (YBTC) Activity Guides: Lesson Plans for Making Chemistry Fun are a must have for those looking for ways to effectively introduce important science concepts through hands-on activities and real-world connections. These valuable teachers' aids are produced by CEF and include two booklets divided by grade levels; one for grades K–4, the other for grades 5–8. Download the YBTC Activity Guides for FREE!

The Fourth Edition Activity Guides feature nearly 1,000 pages of lesson plans, science content, activity sheets, and study materials designed to provide enriching scientific engagement in the classroom. This information is now available at the tip of your fingersfor FREE—by clicking on the download link below or by ordering the low-cost You Be The Chemist flash drive. Download and take the content with you, create selective printouts, display content digitally in the classroom—the opportunities are endless!  

Click here to download for FREE or order the YBTC Activity Guides Flash Drive!       

Submit your order electronically by clicking here or by printing an order form and mailing or faxing it to the address below.        

 Mail: 1560 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209

                                                       Fax: 703/527-7747

                                                       Scan & E-mail: comments@chemed.org


The Fourth Edition YBTC Activity Guides Include:

  • 30+ lesson plans
  • Curriculum connection to the framework for the Next Generation Science Standards within each lesson
  • A cross-link between the concepts explored in each lesson with corresponding sections of the YBTC Challenge study materials
  • Real-world applications highlighting to students how the concepts learned in each lesson relate to things they see and use every day
  • Expanded content that includes more background information, modifications, and extensions for each lesson
  • In-depth activity sheets and corresponding answer keys
  • Electronic accessible online or via flash drives


Take a look at some of our favorite YBTC Activity Guide activities and resources:

Milk Rainbow (5-8)

Separating Salt & Pepper (5-8)

Mysterious Mixtures (K-4)

What Do I Need to Conduct the Experiments in the YBTC Activity Guides?

All materials needed to conduct the experiments in the Activity Guides can be easily and economically purchased at all-purpose stores, grocery stores, and office supply stores.

Download a complete list of materials needed to conduct the activities:


CEF thanks the many people who have played a role in the development of the YBTC Activity Guides! Specifically, we would like to recognize and thank our valued contributors and program volunteers. The development and production of these guides are only possible through their generous support.


Complete our survey for a chance to win $150!

If you have used lessons from the YBTC Activity Guides in your classroom, please complete and return our Educator Evaluation survey, or fill out our Online Survey. 

Your name will be entered into a $150 cash drawing!*

Thank You and Good Luck!

 *Drawing conducted annually with two $150 winners. Next drawing will be April 1, 2014!